City Grill

Carla Kugler

Carla Kugler 
President & CEO
ABC New Mexico

“With the Biden administration’s moratorium on oil and gas leases in New Mexico, it has left the Southeast area of the state, including Las Cruces, in some turmoil over the economic repercussions as those were a precious commodity in New Mexico for decades, generating billions in revenue for the state each year,” Kugler says. “That stated, the number of business registrations are higher than in 2020—thus we’re seeing an improvement in new business formation.”

Kugler notes that unemployment in the state remains steady at about 8%, higher than the national average and with the leisure and hospitality sectors most affected. Meanwhile, real estate sales have continued to improve as measured by the median price and number of days on the market. Community solar projects should start in New Mexico in April 2022, she says. The Public Regulation Commission (PRC) is conducting rulemaking required by a bill passed during the 2021 legislative session. “The PRC has reported that there are already multiple applications looking to establish these solar projects ahead of the completion of rulemaking,” Kugler says.